First Grade Curriculum
First grade sets many of the daily patterns children will see throughout their time at St. Luke School. Light homework assignments are introduced and students focus on the importance of adhering to classroom rules. Independent and group work promote a stimulating and effective learning environment.
Each day begins with Religion class, where students learn about God, Jesus and our Church. Students learn many prayers including The Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary and study Jesus’ miracles and other Bible stories. Every Monday we use the Promise Pflaum to learn about Sunday’s Gospel. During Advent, we study Jesus’ birth and the Holy Family. The Passion and Stations of the Cross prayer services during Lent lead us to Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.
On Wednesdays the first grade classes meet for the Olweus Anti-Bullying Program. Our main emphasis is respect for one another and standing up for ourselves and friends, using our words, against bullying behavior. We talk and role play about our feelings and discuss how rules help us all get along.
In first grade we use the Journeys reading series. The program uses balanced literacy to encourage students to be successful in reading. Sight words, spelling words, word families, and vocabulary are the focus of the reading program. This approach allows for reading achievement while enriching phonics, comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, and writing skills. Components of the program are the Journeys basal reader, leveled readers, vocabulary readers, and phonics.
Squiggle of the Week is a scribble that students turn into a picture and then, a reflective story entitled “My Squiggle story is about…”. These stories are made into a monthly class book, which is sent home to share with our first grade families.
Readers Theater productions, performed throughout the year for our first grade families, encourage fluency and enrichment in reading.
D’Nealian Handwriting is the form we use in first grade to prepare our students for cursive writing in second grade. Students strengthen their handwriting skills by composing a poem every month, answering writing prompts, and completing exercises in their D’Nealian skills workbook.
The first grade math curriculum includes addition and subtraction strategies through twenty, greater than/less than, basic geometry, fractions, place value to one-hundred, skip-counting by 2, 3, 5, 10, and 25, time to the hour and half-hour, solving word problems, measurement and estimating, and making and interpreting graphs. Strategies taught for solving math problems include: using counters, drawing a picture, acting it out, counting up, counting backward, writing a number sentence, finding a pattern, making and reading a graph or chart. Students end the year by adding and subtracting two-digit numbers and regrouping.
We explore four primary science themes in first grade: Life Science, Physical Science, Space Science, and Earth Science. Concepts we cover include animals, the five senses, living and non-living things and their properties, health and ways to stay healthy, matter, forces such as magnetism, push and pull, weather, recycling, the environment, planets, and dinosaurs. The students study these themes through observation, hands-on activities and experiments, watching videos, reading books, and journaling.
Students attend STEM class weekly where they participate in hands-on activities which promote real-world problem solving skills.
Literacy, Math, and Science Centers are provided for the students each day helping to build skills and reinforce concepts introduced throughout the year.
Inquiry and project-based units are used. Content areas include: Communities, Neighborhoods, Culture, Geography, Economics, and the History and Symbols of our Country.
We start with the basic directions and then build outward from our home, neighborhood, and town, to the world. First graders can look forward to our Children Around the World project. Students choose a country and research its culture, history, and food presenting the information in costume to their class. Geography curriculum includes the 7 continents, oceans, and other land formations of Earth. In economics, we learn about why we work, our wants, needs, goods and services, and currency. We culminate our unit with history.
Please refer to the Specials/Fine Arts page to learn more about our first grade curriculum in the areas of Art, Music, Physical Education, Spanish, and Technology.